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January 9, 2023updated 28 Apr 2023 9:35am

What is Cisco?

Cisco thrived through the early days of the internet and became the world's most valuable company in 2002.

By Tech Monitor Staff

Cisco office in Santa Clara, California
Cisco office in Santa Clara, California (Image: Shutterstock/Valeriya Zankovych)

Cisco is a US technology company that is best known for its networking products.

Headquartered in California – its name is short for San Francisco – it develops, manufactures and sells networking hardware, telecoms equipment and other IT services and products.

The company was founded in 1984 by Leonard Bosack and Sandy Lerner. The pair pioneered the concept of the Local Area Network (LAN) being used to connect computers over large distances using a multiprotocol router system.

This put Cisco in a good position to capitalise on the rise of the World Wide Web in the 1990s, with the company outlasting many competitors who failed during the dot-com bubble.

What does Cisco do?

Cisco has a massive roster of products and services, including:

  • Networking: Cisco provides products and services to help companies build computer networks, including switches, routers and software at individual, small business and industrial scales.
  • Wireless and Mobility: The company creates solutions for wireless communications, including access points, wireless controllers and network management
  • Security: network security products include DDoS protection, firewalls and multi-factor authentication
  • Collaboration: the firm helps to facilitate companies and employees to to collaborate, including through working from home and remote administration
  • Data Centres: Cisco helps clients to create cloud computing networks and manage their infrastructure

Cisco stock and valuation

When Cisco went public in 1990 on the NASDAQ, the company’s market cap totalled $224 million. Cisco then earned the moniker of the most valuable company in the world by 2000 with a more than $500 billion market cap.

As of July 2022, the company had 83,300 employees worldwide. However, it has announced plans to restructure and cut as many as 5% of staff.

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Cisco’s reported $51.6 billion annual revenue in Q4 of the 2022 financial year. Its share price has been fluctuating between $46 and $50 in the first two months of 2022.

The current CEO is Chuck Robbins, who took over the company from former CEO John Chambers in 2015. Chambers has stayed on at the company in an executive chairman role.

Under Robbins, Cisco has made many major acquisitions in fields such as cyber security, collaboration and the Internet of Things.

Read more: Vanuatu is showing small nations how to resist big cyberattacks

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